Attending her first international event as an unpaid adviser to President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump was booed after mentioning what she believes to be her father’s respect for families and women.
The president’s eldest daughter was in Berlin on April 25 for the Women’s 20 Summit, which exists to “promote women’s economic empowerment,” according to NBC News. She had been invited to participate in the conference by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The audience began to groan and hiss when Ivanka said she was “very proud of my father’s advocacy” and called him a “tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive,” the Daily Mail reports.
At that point the event’s moderator, WirtschaftsWoche Editor-in-Chief Miriam Meckel, stepped in and addressed Ivanka directly.
“You hear the reaction from the audience, so I need to address one more point,” she said. “Some attitudes towards women [that] your father has publicly displayed in former times might leave one questioning whether he’s such an empower-er for women. How do you relate to that or are things changing? What’s your comment on that?”
To which Ivanka replied: “I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated.”
“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level,” she continued. “I grew up in a house where there was no barriers to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and tenacity. That’s not an easy thing to do, he provided that for us. There was no difference.”
She added that the president has hired a number of women for high-level positions in his administration.
“The team basically going through the vetting and hiring process — six out of eight of those people are women,” she said.
Asked during the event what exactly her role in the White House entails, Ivanka was noncommittal.
“I’m rather unfamiliar with this role as well,” she said. “It has been a little under 100 days and it has just been a remarkable and incredible journey.”
She added that her own personal objective is to facilitate “incremental positive change.”
“That is my goal,” she said. “This is very early for me, I’m listening, learning.”
Outside the conference, NBC News spoke to a number of German women who voiced concern about Ivanka’s visit.
“I think it’s outrageous,” 49-year-old creative director Inga Meyer said. “Why does she have the power and the position to meet Angela Merkel? It’s not clear exactly what her position is. She obviously has more power than what her official role suggests.”
“It’s pure nepotism that she’s in that position,” 35-year-old Sandra Toepke said of Ivanka’s advisory role. “She’s partaking in negotiations at the White House and has security clearance.”
Others, like 21-year-old college student Thyra Guenther-Luebbers, were critical of American politics in general.
“It’s ridiculous what’s happening in U.S. politics,” she said. “It’s something that’s never going to happen in Germany or anywhere else in Europe.”
Sources: Daily Mail, NBC News / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr